Deputy Public Works Minister Claude Langley has disclosed that government is scouting for money for the maintenance of the Gbarnga to Voinjama road in Lofa County.
Mr. Langley told a recent news conference that the road, which is currently in good shape despite the rainy season, needs to be maintained.
The road was rehabilitated by Westwood Corporation, a Liberian firm.
The Gbarnga to Voinjama Highway, according to several officials who recently traveled to Lofa with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is so far the best in rural Liberia.
The road is better for the first time in the last four years, since the celebration of Liberia’s Independence in Lofa County in 2010.
Some independent journalists who travelled with President Johnson-Sirleaf to Lofa recently, said motorbikes (pen-pen), taxis and buses are currently engaged in serious transportation business because of the good condition of the road.
Some residents of the county told our reporter that since the civil conflict, this is the first time Lofa has experienced low transport fares. This, they noted, is because of the good road network in the county.
Mr. Pewu Kollie, a resident of Zorzor, said prior to the rehabilitation of the road, commuters used to pay about L$4,500 per trip, “but now we are paying about L$3,000 from Voinjama to Monrovia.
He described the drop in the transport fare as a great financial relief for the people of Lofa County and said “We want to thank the company for doing such a wonderful job.”
“My brother, some companies will take the money and do a bad job, to the detriment of locals who have to face great difficulty traveling on bad roads, especially during the rainy season,” he said.
Also speaking, Tenneh Baysah, a business woman in Voinjama, said “We used to travel with water, buckets, cook spoons and pots for cooking because we would spend more than a day on this road. But today it takes a few hours, not days or a week from Monrovia to Voinjama.”
“Goods, especially vegetables and other perishable commodities, are no longer getting rotten as before due to the number of days we would spend on the road, businesswoman Baysah said.
According to our reporter, instead of days or a week, it now takes a maximum of five hours from Voinjama to Gbarnga, depending on the type of vehicle.
The volume of traffic along the route has increased significantly, thus boosting economic activities and reducing prices, our reporter said.
However, Deputy Minister Langley has given the assurance that government will attract funding to keep the road intact.
He attributed the deplorable road network in other parts of the country, especially in the southeast, to the lack of maintenance.
According to him, the Ministry of Public Works lacks the necessary equipment to maintain roads across the country and was looking for funding to ensure that roads built or rehabilitated by contractors remain intact.